Newest Windows and Mac OS coming to UWRF computers next year

Posted December 9, 2015

Both Windows 10 and the newest Macintosh operating system (OS) are expected to be rolled out to computers at UW-River Falls next summer.

All computers on campus are still running the old operating systems, despite the fact that the new operating systems have been available for months. UWRF Chief Information Officer Steve Reed said that switching to a new OS is more of a challenge than people think.

Reed explained that compatibility is one of the main reasons why UWRF has not switched over to the newest Windows OS. As many faculty and students rely on applications for school, the Division of Technology Services (DoTS) must make sure that the software works correctly on the newest Windows OS.

“You have to test every one of those applications, so we have over 300 applications just that are in the labs that need to get tested,” Reed said. “I would predict 10 to 15 percent of those we will need to replace and so then that requires us working with faculty and students determining what that is.”

Windows 10 is the newest OS from Microsoft and was released in the summer. The new OS is designed to be an improvement over the old Windows 7 and Windows 8 systems that the campus is using right now. Microsoft has been offering free upgrades to Windows 10 for many Windows users already.

The newest OS for Macintosh computers is called El Capitan and also is set to be installed during the summer. El Capitan also is a free upgrade.

For the applications that are not compatible, DoTS has to find a replacement and test it to make sure it works correctly. With more than 2,500 computers on campus, it takes time to make sure that each is functioning correctly. Reed said that DoTS likes to be aggressive when moving to the newest technology, but the deployment schedule is pushed back because of the education requirements and needs of UWRF.

“We have to provide technology that supports every faculty member and every student,” Reed said.